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tv   Inside Story 2018 Ep 46  Al Jazeera  February 16, 2018 2:32pm-3:01pm +03

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necessary reforms now the world has moved towards the brink of a significant conflict that's the warning from the chairman of the annual munich security conference will policymakers have gathered in the german city to talk about global security challenges the gulf crisis north korea and the conflict in ukraine are all expected to be discussed will have gathered in the parkland in the u.s. state of florida to remember seventeen victims of a school shooting on wednesday it's now emerged that the f.b.i. had been previously warned about the shooting suspect nicholas cruz has appeared in court and charged with the murders of people around the world are celebrating the lunar new year ushering in the year of the dog well this was the scene in myanmar where thousands took to the streets in celebration in australia the occasion was marked with the sydney opera house with a statue of a dog and there was traditional dancing near st petersburg's went to palace in russia. those are the headlines on al-jazeera do stay with us inside
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story is coming up next thank you for watching. the brutal fox of four a boy is rescued a baby gasp for air is she's cold out of rubble both of them in syria but it's a scene replicated in many parts of the world we are asking why are more children than ever being killed or injured in war what can be done about it this is inside story.
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hello and welcome to the program on martine dennis from syria to afghanistan and somalia whatever this conflict and instability is often children who suffer the most one out of every six children in the world is living in walls and that's according to a new report by the charity save the children it says those who are lucky enough to survive an attack are often left with debilitating lifelong injuries if that weren't enough some aid workers in war zones have been accused of abusing the very same people that meant to protect we have a lot to get to with our first say nice. discussion. destroys lives it traumatizes communities. and in many of the world's conflict
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zones children are suffering the most. this is. a suburb of the syrian capital damascus last week. it's space for lentulus bombardment after years of starve and surrender tactics. the human rights group save the children believes youngsters in war zones are now more at risk than at any time in the past twenty years. according to a new report by the organization one in six of the world's children live in conflict zones that's three hundred fifty seven million children a seventy five percent increases the early one nine hundred ninety s. syria afghanistan and somalia are the three most dangerous conflict affected countries to be a child in the past few years there's been a three hundred percent increase in un verified cases of killing and maiming of
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children and around half of all children in conflict zones lack access to schools and health facilities. well care for. many of these children in the democratic republic of congo's kasai region count violence among the earliest memories militia have destroyed schools and homes across the region and the u.n. says thousands of children have been forced to become soldiers save the children is one of several organizations trying to rehabilitate victims i think we're talking about in this report of children being raped being forced to fight being forced to kill other children horrifying brutality and so there's a number of things we can do we can invest in mental health and social support for children in this office and we can rebuild the society around them get them back into school with their families there's a whole range of things we can do but that does take investment it takes time and it takes support. despite greater international standards when it comes to protecting children increasingly brutal tactics are being employed to fight the
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widespread use of indiscriminate weapons cluster bombs have seen child casualty numbers saw. this nine year old range ago was shot three times whilst fleeing myanmar children are not simply caught in the crossfire they are targets a group say the profound psychological impact of conflict on children cannot be underestimated. there are things seen in childhood the can take a lifetime to recover from the al-jazeera. my let's introduce our guests now in london we have george graham director of humanitarian policy at save the children in burning him in the center of the u.k. we have preached kill his shadow minister of international development welcome to you both george let me start with you because it is your report that we're using to
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launch a conversation into this area there's a certain inevitability about what you point out save the children says that children are being affected by conflict it was ever thus wasn't it. certainly true that children have been affected by conflict for as long as conflict has been a thing that happens but what we've seen in the last twenty five years is a really significant increase in the numbers of children living in conflict zones so by three quarters there's been an increase since the early ninety's and looking at the u.n. data there are some really disturbing trends so three times as many children are reportedly being killed or maimed that is disabled or injured severely during conflict and astonishing fifteen times more than fifteen times more incidents of aid being deliberately blocked by parties to conflict that means children not getting the food they need or the health care that they need as a deliberate act of war and that since twenty ten so that's a pretty big trend we think so it is there indeed. we're describing it is what do
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we attribute series i mean this is one of the biggest outraged of our time ok so why is this happening so it's happening for a few reasons one one issue is the conflicts increasingly taking place in cities and that means that there are people much more densely populated together children are much more exposed to the use of explosive weapons with wide area affects and we're doing some a separate piece of research there's looking at the particular harm that is caused to children's much smaller bodies by by blast injuries and that's really one of the drivers of the high rates of killing and maiming but we're also seeing a real culture of impunity that is the body of international law the laws of war human rights law that sets standards for how conflict should be should be fought and we're seeing far too often those standards are not being up held and i wanted to ask you a little bit more about that what are specifically the standards that apply to the
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wellbeing of children in conflict so the u.n. has codify the set of violations of grave violations they called of children's rights in conflict so they include the print edition. against indiscriminately killing children injuring children also recruiting them into armed groups targeting them for sexual violence attacking their schools and as i mentioned earlier blocking humanitarian access those are all identified grave violations and they're all things that are currently being currently being perpetrated right now in really quite a few conflicts around the world and i'm pleased to say that we can now introduce a young egeland who is the secretary general of the norwegian refugee council he's joining us via skype from goma in east india see ya there glenn thanks for joining us and of course way you are is one of the locations of persistent conflicts and presumably you can tell us first hand about the situation with regard to children
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in the conflict there i'm shocked really what i've seen today and the last two three days here in eastern congo because it's it's one of the epicenters on earth but i don't think it's children and women there are in this province alone from now on not keep them in eastern congo there is more than one point two million internally displaced and they are mostly women and children through our a hundred and twenty armed groups what they do all of there is to prey on the civilian population was more of a problem is that there was not national attention not international response the few given literally to steer including n.r.c. are totally overwhelmed and totally underfunded and presumably helping people
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if you places yet legoland earlier george of save the children suggested that the increasingly high number of children affected by conflict was a. the consequence of there being more conflict in urban centers that isn't the case though in eastern d.r. see where you are is it. not only in some places it is. urban syria. yemen that's right in the congo it's not really the countryside we women children suffer alone because there are too few even what is able to reach them and we could do much more if we have resource here because i'm go it's also a question of lack of attention lack of ability and willingness to go out to the fields in the villages where people are suffering ok and prayed guild that
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brings us neatly to you as somebody in opposition in the british parliament but somebody who will have an input in terms of policy of aid giving for britain towards issues like have been outlined by both george and jan what is the current thinking in the u.k. with regard to humanitarian aid is especially of course given the backdrop of the oxfam scandal. firstly i'm really important here the new statistics on children in conflict and it's really concerning because if you look at yemen it's appalling that on one hand we spend almost two hundred million in aid of british taxpayers' money. but then we continue to sell over three billion of on's to saudi arabia and you know it's given with one hand and taking away with the other and labor has said that the u.k. has got to stop these on cells right now and where tooter are at risk in places
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like syria yemen my and my amar it's clear that we need political solutions as well as humanitarian ones and the. key role i would say. on the u.n. security council and with governments especially in wake of donald trump turning inwards there's a real void in diplomatic leadership and consensus building and i think it's great to see that labor is talking about having a policy coherent across government we think so we can think about the impact on children in conflict when we shape not just our trade policies but our foreign policy all right different policy and that's something that labor alright let me emitted let me let me don't let me jump in there and let me jump in there because this is a good moment for us to look a little bit more closely at the current humanitarian aid environment because they are getting the help that they need is an even tougher question at the moment like
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for instance as you've already heard the u.s. president donald trump has slashed his foreign aid by around nine billion dollars in the latest budget that's down by a whopping twenty five percent and the u.n. agency for palestinians is already being affected and international donor conference to rebuild iraq just this week could only raise around thirty billion dollars that was a third of what it actually needed and to make matters worse as already mentioned there are questions. about some of those who work on the ground in conflict zones there are increasingly coming under scrutiny like in the sketch sex scandal involving oxfam and that has got aid agencies across the board fearing that it could lead to major cuts in funding so coming back to you then young egeland you've already identified the fact that the humanitarian aid environment if you like is so dismal at the moment that nobody seems is able to raise the amount of money that
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they need for emergency funding. and i think it's a shame really we spend more on ice cream in the world than we spent on humanitarian assistance we have this nominal olympics where we can spend big. planes on. you know sporting events and then we're not able to raise the money pool with children who are on the brink of dying because of the big leg because of lack of assistance america our protection and would be the ultimate insult to will be used sexually and gang raped by the armed groups here that don't loose systems because some really bad colleagues did something really dumb seven years ago in another country until it's coming to you do you accept that perhaps engineers and aid workers themselves take
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a little bit of the responsibility for this. this lack of enthusiasm if you like for humanitarian give him an a terry and giving largely because there's an awful lot of a pass a t. isn't there in the aids industry if you like it's not terribly clear and transparent. yeah i think we have to accept that if if if as i think is clear the tensions are publics that losing confidence in what we do then that's on us we need to win that trust back particularly this week. and like everybody i think was not only shocked by the stories that we saw coming out but also quite angry because because what i was doing in haiti and probably or perhaps of about goes in other places might be doing is the exact opposite of what we've this tittie so it's really mission critical that we get on top of those sorts of incidences of harassment and exploitation and make sure that we have a culture
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a zero tolerance that's part of what we need to do to to win the trust of the q re securitas the trust that we depend on actually from from our publics. but then you know zone's been been getting at the scale of need in the world is out of all of our control and it is growing and so we're in this difficult position where there's a general loss of confidence in in formerly well trusted institutions against a backdrop of really severely increasing need so we need to close that gap pretty quickly and preach coming to you as a prospective minister in government you would hope of course how would you approach this whole issue differently currently we understand that the british government is reviewing its its funding of oxfam that see the agency at the center of many of these allegations but how would labor do differently. so i come from
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a background of being in top protection i also worked with unicef and street children in delhi and look labor are really really concerned about what's come out from the pew scandal around oxfam but what's really important is that we keep some perspective around this we know that the sector needs reform and we need to be working with the sector and that's what we would be committed to do at the end of the day the cover that's come out is very very concerning and what i want is that actually all of the agencies working in this sector should feel confident and comfortable enough to come out and actually talk about some of the issues that may be apparent in their organizations as well and we need to have an honest and transparent conversation about what reform means we britain have absolute duty globally around child protection and we must work with other countries and also the united nations but also interpol and make sure that what comes out of this is a very robust system that builds confidence not just here but internationally and
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making sure that these sort of things don't happen again in the future and yet. what would you attribute this current lack of interest in humanitarian giving is it just a consequence of the current scandals that are plaguing the sector or does it go deeper than that. it's not your. problem. i'm afraid we've lost therm yan for now but let's continue and hopefully will be able to get the link back to you and i go into is in easton d r c let's go back to george and george young was young was starting to tell us about something more deeper a deeper malays that is affecting the sector that is leading to generally to a downturn in the amount of humanitarian aid being given primarily from countries
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because it's governments isn't it the do the heavy lifting when it comes to this area. beside the cautious of describing it as a malays for centuries. the spender humanitarian aid has been increasing over time it's just that the needs are outpacing that increase and obviously we get to see what impact donald trump's decisions might have on the overall a flows but that's until until recently it's been increasing. but i think the point young was was going to make going to make was that was that was just to reemphasize i guess that. that the need is really just getting getting greater at a scale that the none of us foresaw i keep thinking back to twenty eleven when we were working on food crises really shocking food crisis and famine actually in somalia and to rethink you lot about how to tackle the problem of hunger and we really weren't thinking that much about how to tackle the problem of conflict and
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then in late twenty levon only twenty twelve we started to see one by one countries going to war or war or war returning to those countries of south sudan syria yemen libya iraq resurgent resurgence of violence northern nigeria and many of those countries or all of those conflicts have persisted so we've seen over the last what is that seven years we've seen we've seen a new large number of really nasty really acted wars going on and on and on creating really untold humanitarian need and one of the most disturbing things i think we've heard in recent weeks recent days really is about syria where we used to talking about syria in catastrophic language saying you can't imagine anywhere worse and yet now we're hearing people who are closer than i am to what's going on on the ground saying it has not been worse in syria than it is right now so this is the context we're dealing with it's desperately sad but it requires all of our efforts to get behind the pump and really to try to make the biggest difference we
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can both through our aid as pre to say through political engagement. and i was going to go back to yon but i think we might have lost him again but print in the meantime while we're trying to reestablish contact with the un create i'm just wondering what your thoughts are on this issue of humanitarian diplomacy which is something that young girl and talks about quite a lot and he says that quite at the moment humanitarian diplomacy is at an all time low georgia has already made reference to some of the areas in syria for instance that are being the siege by one set of forces or another and that they are simply. not allowing in life giving assistance i mean this is rock bottom isn't it in terms of the syrian conflict absolutely and it's really really important that we work across apartments and so working with our foreign affairs team working with the international trade armas wilander pence to look at how we can work with partners
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and other global leaders to absolutely you know make the case for making sure that blockade selected and aid is getting to where it needs to be needs to go and so george do you feel that there is any scrap of optimism at the moment i mean we've painted a pretty miserable picture haven't we three hundred seventy five million kids around the world are living in conflict zones and that is not a seventy five percent increase on the one nine hundred ninety s. i mean which way are we heading well actually it is a bleak picture but i am optimistic i have to be optimistic because this is this is our role in the world as a work it is to try to try to help children in the case of save the children have a brighter future and i do believe that's possible and part of the reason i believe that is because i think that i think firstly on the point of where the public is out on this actually you know we've been talking a bit about malaysia the loss of trust but really most members the public certainly
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in my country in the u.k. genuinely care about the suffering of children and we know that because every time there's a major appeal the british public responds with incredible generosity so i feel that there's a human connection there is still very strong and pretty meaningful secondly i think the government's starting to realise that this sort of beggar my neighbor approach has. pushed the bar lower and lower and lower if you like so that standards are not being up held so. yes well what i'm getting at is that if. you know lots of governments again such as the british government talk about the importance of a rules based international system and it's this very grand rhetoric but they need to be seen to be upholding that in their practice consistently without fear or favor if they do that fine they won't stop the real bad guys but they will stop other governments from thinking maybe they can get away with committing violations they'll raise the bar they'll make it clearer when a state or
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a non-state actor is in breach of international accepted standards and they'll make it easier to take action so they'll appear like that something at the corner is being turned will be turned and it's a reason to be optimistic and preach you can't really escape the politics can you because without an end to the conflict actually nothing is going to get that much better is it fair that for the children of these conflict zones and indeed other vulnerable groups like like women like the elderly like the disabled so then it's got to translate into policy hasn't it foreign policy a particularly of course because you're part of the british establishment british foreign policy how far do you think that what britain does on the security council for instance will have a benign effect on this dreadful situation that we've been hearing about. yeah i think you know it's the point that i made earlier about working across the government so it's not just about international development you know it's to spearheading this sort of vision in campaign in terms of ending conflict it's got
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to be with the foreign affairs team working together to make sure our policy doesn't contradict on one hand giving and on the other hand you know actually supporting regimes in situations like this so i think there's a real opportunity though to work with like minded leaders across the globe. to make sure that there is that kind of commitment towards aid and development i mean i'm really proud of this country we have no point seven percent and like george said a lot of people especially my constituency but most people i speak to absolutely make the case for aid and we need to be working more closely with our doors for community because actually communities that have been here for a long time from the commonwealth for example have actually been doing their own type of aid back home and in areas of conflict we've seen lots more people coming together we need to make that strong case and we need to be holding the un security council we need to have a very strong voice there making the case again about how do course. how do we work
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department how to work with our defense teams and look at our policy around defense where impacts on front of all communities especially women and young children in conflict situations thanks to all our guests and george graham director of humanitarian policy at say the children preach kill u.k. shadow minister of international development and joining us from goma in the democratic republic of congo secretary generals the norwegian refugee council jan egeland thank you all very much indeed and as ever thank you for watching you can see the program again any time you like the gauge of the website al-jazeera dot com should you want more discussion you can go to our facebook page that's facebook dot com forward slash inside story and you can join the conversation on twitter handle . at a.j. inside story i'm dennis for me and the whole team here and for that.
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the scene for us whether online what is a very nice time in yemen that piece is always possible but it never happens not because the situation is complicated but because no one cares or if you join us on sat there are people that that are choosing between buying medication and eating base is a dialogue i want to get in one more comment because this is someone who's an activist who's close to the story joined the global conversation at this time on al-jazeera. these
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explosions were not an act of war. these nuclear bombs were experiments by the soviet union. to the kazakh people who lived in the vicinity the motives might be a little difference rewind silent. at this time amount to zero. we should all be in doha with the top stories from al-jazeera the u.s. and turkey have agreed to normalize relations and work together over the conflict in syria the secretary of state rex tillerson has been holding talks with his turkish counterpart. in ankara ties have been strained in recent months over u.s. support for kurdish fighters in syria think though you.


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